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Summary

Bestselling author and astrophysicist Mario Livio examines the lives and theories of history’s greatest mathematicians to ask how - if mathematics is an abstract construction of the human mind - it can so perfectly explain the physical world.

Nobel Laureate Eugene Wigner once wondered about "the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics" in the formulation of the laws of nature. Is God a Mathematician? investigates why mathematics is as powerful as it is. From ancient times to the present, scientists and philosophers have marveled at how such a seemingly abstract discipline could so perfectly explain the natural world. More than that - mathematics has often made predictions, for example, about subatomic particles or cosmic phenomena that were unknown at the time, but later were proven to be true. Is mathematics ultimately invented or discovered? If, as Einstein insisted, mathematics is "a product of human thought that is independent of experience," how can it so accurately describe and even predict the world around us?

Physicist and author Mario Livio brilliantly explores mathematical ideas from Pythagoras to the present day as he shows us how intriguing questions and ingenious answers have led to ever deeper insights into our world. This fascinating book will interest anyone curious about the human mind, the scientific world, and the relationship between them.

©2009 Mario Livio (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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  • Rich
  • 22-04-19

Great Investment of Time and Money

Of the 50 plus books I own, I return to this the almost every day — much like listening to a mountain-top prophet sharing insights that finally puts math in its deserved perspective.

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  • Rick B
  • 08-07-21

Origins of Mathematics

The title of this book is not it's directive. The real story behind these pages is the history, development and refinement of mathematics. If you enjoy learning especially as relates to history and science, then you will like this audio book. I was so impressed, I purchased the hard copy for my library. Mario Livio is a great scientist and Tom Parks the narrator perfects his story in a most understandable way. There is humor to start with which balances the facts and gives the book it's title. In the end, there is no religious directives. You are left with your own decisions. Is mathematics discovered or is it a specific development of the human mind. For me, I believe that mathematics is the language of the universe. Nature is the magnificent teacher from which we learn her lessons. There is perfect structure all around us, down to the atomic level. Nature defines the structure of all the processes that surround us, all we have to do is appreciate the gifts we are allowed access too.